On newfangled doors and old-fangled ladies

The minute the words were out of my mouth, I could hardly believe I said them. As I held the automatic door open for the young mom with a baby in her arms and a toddler in the stroller, she thanked me. The button to activate the door wasn’t working.

“I remember being in your shoes!” I exclaimed. “But back in my day, there were no automatic door buttons.”

I SAID that. Like I was having babies before electricity and elevators were a thing.

The truth is, I really don’t remember many automatic doors. I think the whole handicapped access issue hadn’t really been addressed the way it is today. But instead of what I meant, it sounded like I birthed my babies at home by candlelight before going back to my fields and horse-drawn plow.

Which is an incredibly long-winded introduction to my point: We really have to figure out what to do with all the little old ladies.

Namely, myself and my friends in a few decades. We’re not there yet, but if I’m already saying “Back in my day,” it’s probably not too early to plan for my golden years.

Several months ago, I began joking with my friends about starting an “old lady commune” in our advanced age. Rather than worrying about the upkeep of our houses on our own—houses that will most likely seem too big for us individually—I said how fun it would be to have a group living arrangement. Always someone to take you to your doctor’s appointment. Always someone up for a game of cards. Your very own in-house book club. And happy hour? Well, that goes without saying.

We have it all planned. I’m lobbying for goat yoga on the weekends, although I have a feeling I’ll have to settle for yoga sans furry friends. Something about sanitation comes flying out of my friends’ mouths when we discuss it.

We’re planning on guest lecturers, mixologists, masseuses, energy healers (I think that’s just me again, voting for that last one). We’re hoping for a senior citizen commune of the cute male type down the street. Maybe we can have mixers, just like high school. (I’m seriously just kidding. Those were painful enough in high school.)

While shopping the other day, I ran across a chicken coop for sale. I texted my future roomies, asking if we should buy it now and store it in anticipation of our fresh eggs.

My friends joke that just about the time they are ready for the commune—whether because their spouse dies or they get divorced—I’ll probably meet someone and fall in love. I told them no worries about that. I’m really sold on this commune idea. And I think we should get some of those newfangled automatic push-button doors.

I hear they’re all the rage.



50 Comments Add yours

  1. I really like the idea of a commune for older people, and it’s being done in several places now. There’s no reason we should all adapt to the same model of housing accommodation when we get older.

    1. candidkay says:

      I’ve seen some interesting articles a new types of living arrangements for older people. I am hoping by the time I have to worry about it, they have it all figured out :-).

  2. Cindy Dadik says:

    Count me in! You had me at Happy Hour!

    1. candidkay says:

      Not the masseuse?😉

  3. I caught a very interesting interview on NPR not long ago with a woman who’d started a FB support group for the ‘lil ol’ ladies, though I think it’s co-ed. Specifically, those without children or family to catch them when they fall, undergo medical treatment, feel tightness where they shouldn’t, etc. Some would even post that they’re about to do testing for xyz and please send good thoughts, and this community would rally. Isn’t that wonderful?

    1. candidkay says:

      It’s more than wonderful! I could see them crowdsourcing not just moral support but rides to the doc, bunco clubs, etc.

      1. Yes, it sounded like it was taking off. Well, there it is, the bright side of social media!

  4. This made me smile on a NYC subway. 🙂 That is an achievement hahaha.

  5. Spyro says:

    Hope you don’t mind – communities are a great plan – there are recent articles that start to identify the growing percentage numbers of senior deaths in Japan and U.S. – focused on seniors that are single, lonely, and living alone. Your article and the comments focus on solutions – good for you. Thank you. Spyro

    1. candidkay says:

      Not surprising. I see the programs where they bring children or dogs into senior living homes and I think that while it’s a start, it’s still not enough.

  6. Barbara says:

    Well there is elderly and then there is elderly and I think I am more so than you. I used to dream of doing something like this too. My twilight years spent with the girls, laughing and doing what we all loved to do. Of course, that was before my husband retired and I actually used to spend lots of time with my women friends, yoga, keeping fit, walking – all of that. Now I find it difficult to get out the door. Thank goodness I still run my craft classes or things would be dire indeed.

    1. candidkay says:

      The seasons of life are interesting, aren’t they? I’m so glad you have your crafting. I am sure that is a godsend. My mother was always an avid reader. As she aged, it became harder for her to do so because of macular degeneration. It was sad to watch. Having a hobby and something that you love to fill the hours is so essential to aging well, in my opinion.

  7. George says:

    Lol…I’m guessing g you’re going to hold firm to this commune being only for ladies?😊

    1. candidkay says:

      It does seem as if we’re entertaining a few offers from potential male roommates, doesn’t it? 🙂 LOL.

  8. Ninasusan says:

    This thought has seriously crossed my mind in the past!

    1. candidkay says:

      It sure beats most of our choices:).

  9. It’s scary the way time passes – I found myself saying the other day that something happened to me 30 years ago and I had to check to make sure that really was possible! But the commune sounds like a great idea, I imagine your commune would be a fun one to be part of 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      I know the feeling all too well:). The days can be long but the years sure do fly!

  10. Go for the communal living!!

    1. candidkay says:

      It’s definitely winning the popular vote here :-).

  11. cristi says:

    You are definitely on to something…
    How’d you get so BRILLIANT??? 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Red wine and cheese, of course:). Isn’t that how we all get brilliant? 🍷🧀

      1. cristi says:

        Good to know!
        I think I need to up my cheese game. 😉

  12. Cindy Frank says:

    I really think you are on to something brilliant here…

  13. Aunt Beulah says:

    And with this one you made me laugh. Well, laugh and begin to go through my list of female friends wondering which would be interested in pursing your idea with me. I especially hope Diane will be; in college she enjoyed doing other people’s nails and gave manicures and pedicures regularly while we sat around gossiping. How great would that be?

    1. candidkay says:

      Ah, now you’re thinking! Friends not only that you like but also those who bring something to the table:). I better figure out what I bring!

  14. Your commune sounds like a genius idea! DO NOT let up on the goat yoga idea, though. I don’t even understand the point of doing yoga if there are no goats there, they make it so enjoyable and fill your heart in ways you can’t even imagine. Goat yoga, then yacking with the gang about it during happy hour sounds like a perfect plan to me. You are totally onto something here!

    1. candidkay says:

      Right?! Who doesn’t love baby goats, for Pete’s sake? And really, we’ll probably be looking for Happy Hour topics:).

  15. I will definitely come on board and offer energy healing to everyone! I love your idea 👏👍🌸

    1. candidkay says:

      We’ll roll out the welcome mat for you! And you’d probably be my partner in crime for goat yoga:).

  16. Su Leslie says:

    I’m so glad to hear you and your friends are talking about this. I’ve been thinking about it for a few years, and have already (much to friends’ exasperation) got notebooks full of architectural ideas that I think are just the thing … no automatic doors though.

    1. candidkay says:

      Ooh. You’re waaaay ahead of us if you’re already onto architectural bits! We just keep visiting towns and pointing out the homes that look cute and affordable:).

      1. Su Leslie says:

        To be honest, I had the idea a long while ago, but as a solution for my mother and her friends. At the time, it hadn’t occurred to me that actually, it would work for me one day. Ah, the arrogance of youth!

      2. candidkay says:

        What goes around comes around :-).

  17. nights7 says:

    A commune for elderly friends is a great idea. This is something my mom and her gang of lady friends have joked about as well. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if this great idea comes to fruition in some form or another. Or if your friend’s prediction comes true; the universe has a wicked sense of humor. 😉

    1. candidkay says:

      I know all too much about the Universe’s wicked sense of humor:). I now allow for the crazy, the miraculous and the sublime. Here’s to groups of elderly friends popping up all over!

  18. I almost wet myself again Kay, this is so funny 😀
    But…a brilliant idea, why hasn’t it come about? You my friend are on a winner, make some inquiries and test the waters. If there is one thing lacking in this world right now it is those communities.
    The homes they have for the elderly right now are just morgues-in-waiting and they treat our elderly accordingly.
    It is a time to ‘live’ and appreciate the hard work to find that love and wisdom within, not be relegated to some dark waiting room.
    A great post my friend and my hand is up for the idea 😀 ❤

    1. candidkay says:

      I keep waiting for the smart company to operationalize this and create options for the aging Boomers!

  19. srbottch says:

    Very funny but not so far fetched. I’ve often thought about the same thing, moving in with a group of ladies. No, seriously, why don’t elderly folks do this would cut down on expenses, give us company and you’d always have a fourth for Mahjong! I like it. Let me know when it happens. I said, LET ME KNOW WHEN IT HAPPENS!

    1. candidkay says:

      Lol. Right?! We need to create more community and actual living amongst our aging versus putting them out to pasture. Every time I drive by a “senior living” community, I shudder and think–I don’t want to end up there.

      1. srbottch says:

        When you get to be an old geezer, like me, with a big lawn and hydrangeas coming out the wazoo for which I had to dig holes (in clay soil) and you drive by one of those places, you think to yourself. ‘Hmmm, I wonder how that….’, then you come to your senses. You’re right, living independently with a group might be fun. We could share hearing aid batteries…😂

  20. This is a great idea! I want to join one of these.

    1. candidkay says:

      Maybe we can start a movement:).

  21. ViewPacific says:

    It’s a great idea and I’m serious. I’ve seen enough of older friends living alone or in soulless group homes. Best to think ahead about who you’d want to include and how you envision it.
    But, goat yoga? I’m not sure what that is. Does it have anything to do with old goats? 😜🐐

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m with you! So many “senior living” places that have nothing to do with real living. And so many lonely older people isolated in their homes. Goat yoga usually involves baby goats–not sure the old ones would be quite as sweet! 🙂 Even if you count the human old goats:).

  22. Amy says:

    Thank you for making me laugh today. I’d like to join your group someday! xo

    1. candidkay says:

      We would love to have you! Glad this one made you giggle :-).

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